The people behind a telemarketing scam that promised shopping sprees at Wal-Mart, Macy’s and other retailers have been ordered to pay more than $28 million to make up for their ill-gotten gains and banned from further telemarketing.
The Federal Trade Commission contended that the defendants cold-called consumers with the goal of tricking them into disclosing their bank account information, falsely promising them valuable incentives such as gift cards and “shopping sprees” to retailers such as Wal-Mart and Macy’s, movie passes, and gas vouchers. All of these items were supposedly free with the payment of a nominal shipping-and-handling fee. In many instances, the defendants misrepresented that they were affiliated with well-known retailers, government entities, or the consumers’ financial institutions.
The defendants also harassed consumers by making repeated telemarketing calls to them, ignoring consumers’ requests not to call again, and using profane and abusive language during the telemarketing calls, and then made unauthorized debits from consumers’ bank accounts after tricking them into disclosing their account information, the FTC said.
More details about the case may be found by clicking here.